Staying safe in Corona virus time: read the guest blog post by Phillip Klebba here. A video summarizing important tips can be found here

We don’t eat sweets that much. I bake a lot but it all goes to departmental colleagues, senior citizens at our town center, and homeless meals. What is a baker to do, when a pandemic forces everyone into isolation and she has very limited outlets to share sweets?  She bakes savory stuff, that is. Like this crazy departure on Shepherd’s Pie, made lighter because the topping is cauliflower-based. The lightness is immediately neutralized by enclosing it in a pie crust. It all balanced out beautifully,  and we were both quite pleased with our dinner. Normally I would make a salad to go with it, but it felt like a complete meal without it.


(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by many sources)

for the pie crust:
250g all-purpose flour (260 grams)
1/8 teaspoon salt
50g olive oil (50 grams)
125 g cold water

Whisk together the flour and salt in a large bowl, then add the olive oil, stir with a fork until the flour gets coated with it, forming a crumbly ness. Slowly add cold water and knead gently just until the dough starts to comes together.  Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate one hour before using.

Roll it over plastic wrap lightly coated with flour, then use it to cover a 9-inch pie pan of your choice. Freeze for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400F. Remove crust from the freezer, cover with saran wrap or parchment paper and add weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely before filling.

for the filling:
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 + 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 large carrots, cut in pieces
8 oz mushrooms cut in pieces
2 celery ribs, minced
1 + 1/2 tsp salt
1 shallot, minced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tablespoon harissa, or to taste

Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet using 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and seasoning with 1 tsp salt. Once the meat is brown, transfer to a bowl. Add one more tablespoon of olive oil and saute the carrots, shallot and mushrooms, sprinkling all the spices and the final 1/2 tsp salt over the veggies as they cook. Once the veggies start to get some color, add the harissa, the ground turkey reserved, and mix everything gently. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool it completely.

for the topping:
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
70g raw almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp paprika

Arrange the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket, cover, and steam for 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender. Check after 12 minutes, if a fork goes through easily, stop the steaming.

Put the almonds, olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt and paprika in a Vitamix type blender (or food processor) and add the steamed cauliflower. Blend, increasing the power until it gets very smooth and thickens a little.  Remove from the blender and reserve until ready to top the pie. Can be made a day in advance, keep it in the fridge.

Assemble the pie. Heat the oven to 400F. Add the turkey filling to the crust, spoon the cauliflower topping. If desired, add a pattern using the tines of a fork.

Bake for 30 minutes. If you like a darker topping run it under a broiler protecting the edges of the pie crust. Allow the pie to cool for 15 minutes before slicing.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you omit the pie crust, this would turn into a pretty low-carb meal, that will still be quite satisfying. Keep that option in mind, although then I think a small salad could be a nice touch. Just lightly coat a Pyrex pie dish with olive oil and add the cooled turkey mixture, spread the cauliflower topping and bake. Some grated cheese could be very nice, we usually opt for a meal that is low in saturated fat, so we skip it.

I am very pleased with the olive oil crust. There are many recipes in cookbooks and websites, some will instruct you to do it as a press-on crust, but I did not like that at all. I adjusted the amount of flour and fat to produce a dough with good consistency for rolling. As a general rule, olive oil crusts need to bake for 35 to 40 minutes total, so depending on the type of filling you have, how moist it is, you can blind bake it for 10 minutes as I did, or skip it all together. Make sure the total baking time does not go over 40 minutes, or the crust might get too tough. It is a nice option for those avoiding dairy or trying to reduce the level of saturated fat.



ONE YEAR AGO: Another Twisted Sister of the Shepherd’s Pie (what a nice coincidence!)

TWO YEARS AGO: Cashew Chicken, My Way

THREE YEARS AGO: Two Deliciously Simple Salads

FOUR YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen, April 2016

FIVE YEARS AGO: Spring has Sprung with Suzanne Goin

SIX YEARS AGO: Chai Brownies

SEVEN YEARS AGO: Pomegranate-Molasses Glazed Carrots

EIGHT YEARS AGO: Braised Brisket with Bourbon-Peach Glaze

NINE YEARS AGO: The Real Vodka Sauce

TEN YEARS AGO: Spring Rolls on a Spring Day




One of my favorite desserts is the classic Tarte Tatin, a delicious upside-down apple pie originated in France in the 1880’s. I made it quite a few times before my blogging days, and often tell myself that I should bake one “for the blog.” You know, I am unselfish that way. But after reading a cooking forum in which people raved about a savory version of the classic, I had to make it. Roasted tomatoes with a touch of herbs and cheese are covered with a buttery dough, baked, and inverted on a platter for a stunning presentation… If some tomatoes  stick to the pan, no need to use crass language, gently scoop them out and coach them into the original position. After all, it is supposed to be rustic, so small boo-boos are forgiven…

Tomato Tatin
(adapted from Whip +  Click)

for the dough:
205 grams (1+1/3 cup) flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
118 grams (8 tablespoons) chilled butter, cut into cubes
1 egg

for the filling:
940 grams (2 pounds) plum tomatoes
olive oil
Herbes de Provence to taste
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
grated Parmigiano cheese

Make the dough: Sift the flour into a bowl. Add salt and cubed butter and work into the flour with your fingers until the butter pieces are no bigger than lentil size. Add the egg and mix until just combined. If it is too dry, add cold water one teaspoon at a time. Chill for 30 minutes.

Prepare the leeks. By sautéing the slices in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Cook it in a very low heat, stirring often until golden brown. Reserve.

Heat the oven at 350 F. Cut tomatoes in half, core and remove the seeds. Coat the bottom of a 10 inch round dish with olive oil and place the tomatoes skin side down all around the pan. Season with salt, pepper, herbes de Provence and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until soft.

Before you take out the tomatoes, roll out your dough to a 10 inch round. Spread the leeks on top of the tomatoes, then add an even layer of grated parmesan. Add the dough on top and tuck the edges in. Bake for another 30 minutes or until the dough is golden brown. To unmold, run a knife around the edges and flip onto a serving dish.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was my first time making this recipe, and I think there is room for improvement. I added a little bit too much olive oil to the tomatoes before placing the dough on top, and the dough itself turned out a tad too oily for my taste.  I also think that for the size of my pan, one or even two more tomatoes cut up would have been better.  They shrink a little during roasting, keep that in mind when you make it and aim for full coverage of the pan. I hope you do try this recipe, by the way. It is very elegant and quite simple to prepare. Perfect to open a dinner as a first course, or to serve for brunch. It is nice at room temperature too, making it possible to prepare it in advance. My kind of recipe, all the way.  I intend to try a lighter version using phyllo dough just for fun… What do you think?

ONE YEAR AGO: Headed to Colorado!  (and there we are again this year…  😉

TWO YEARS AGO: Farofa Brasileira

THREE  YEARS AGO: Thai-Inspired Pork Tenderloin

FOUR YEARS AGO: A yummy Brazilian cake: Bolo de Fuba’

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Summer’s Tomatoes

SIX YEARS AGO: Leaving on a jet plane…